The Ancient Theatre at Orange is one of the best-preserved Roman theatres in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The theatre owes its reputation to the exceptionally well-preserved ‘scaenae frons’ (the wall at the back of the stage which helped to project sound to the large audience). The north façade of the theatre (37m high and 107m long) was considered by Louis XIV to be the finest wall in his kingdom. Designed for Gallo-Roman spectators, the theatre was originally used to spread Roman culture and language. 8,000 spectators could watch tragedies, comedies and performances by dancers, acrobats and jugglers. It was not until the 19th century that the theatre regained its vocation as a theatre and the setting for great lyrical performances.